It took years, but eventually bread killed my bike. Ok, that’s exaggeration. But bread lamed my bike badly. I was riding my work bike a few months ago—the one I use to haul those ridiculous trailer loads to market—and looked down to see a distinct wobble in my back wheel. Being an indifferent bike mechanic, and a busy baker, I dropped the bike off at the bicycle cafe for a truing. But by mid-afternoon, Andrew, the mechanic, had called to say the wheel was a loss. The metal of those shiny aluminum spoke nipples, once the height of bicycle fashion, was too soft to turn. There was no righting this wheel. I’d have to buy another.
So of course, I rode away and forgot about my wonky wheel, except on Saturday mornings when I loaded up the market trailer, and would glance down with apprehension, imagining it flattening suddenly under the weight of all that bread. A foolish imagining, but I couldn't shake it. (Though I’ve started breaking the market load into two trips, until recently I hauled it all in one precarious load, with a trailer weight of approximately 345 lbs. When you add me into the equation, that means my little bicycle was carrying the equivalent of 3.5 bakers, or 214 large loaves of bread).
Eventually, though, that weekly anxiety added up to a return trip to the bicycle cafe, this time for a new rear wheel. I pedaled over from the bakery on my road bike to pick up the work bike yesterday afternoon, while the oven was reheating between loads of bread. When I walked in, Andrew called me over eagerly. “Let me show you your old wheel!” He held it up, triumphant. “I’ve only seen this once before,” he told me, tracing a thin crack all the way around the inside of the rim. “Look!” he pointed to places where the crack had widened, whole chips of rim missing. When he spun the wheel, I could hear them rattling around inside. “It’s a good thing you got a new one! This one could have collapsed at any time.”
See you soon.
TODAY AT MARKET
Red & White
Oat & Honey
Mountain Rye + Vollkornbrot
Malted Chocolate Chip + Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies
Oatmeal + Red Berry Scone
Buckwheat + Plum Scone
WEDNESDAY BREAD SUBSCRIPTION
Wild & Seedy
All Bakery Dreaming Bicycles Books And Other Stories Bread Without Metaphor Building A Bakery Business Values Changing Seasons Childhood Community Endings Harvest Forage Glean Home Kitchen Sink Philosophy Learning / Teaching Magic And Imagination Opinion Practicalities Starting With The Soil The Body The Commissary The Garden The Sky The World Outside Time Travel Wonder